Mighty Joe Young

Watch Mighty Joe Young

"Merian Cooper's amazing adventure in the unusual!"
  • Approved
  • 1949
  • 1 hr 34 min
  • 7.0  (5,544)
  • 61

Mighty Joe Young is a 1949 American adventure film directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack, who is best known for his work on the legendary King Kong. The movie tells the story of a giant gorilla named Joe, who is discovered and taken from his natural habitat in Africa by a group of hunters. They sell the young gorilla to a nightclub entrepreneur named Max O'Hara (played by Robert Armstrong) who decides to use Joe as a publicity stunt in his Hollywood nightclub called the Golden Safari.

When Joe arrives in Hollywood, he is paired with a beautiful young woman named Jill Young (played by Terry Moore) who becomes his caretaker and develops an unbreakable bond with him. The two become inseparable friends and are both happy in their new life together. However, as Joe grows increasingly larger, more dangerous and harder to control, O'Hara decides to take advantage of the situation by putting him on display in the nightclub.

Naturally, things do not go as planned and soon, Joe breaks free from his chains and goes on a rampage throughout the city. The authorities, led by a compassionate cowboy named Gregg (played by Ben Johnson), set out to capture Joe and return him safely to his native land in Africa.

Despite being over 70 years old, Mighty Joe Young is still an awe-inspiring spectacle of cinema that features some of the most beautiful and innovative special effects of its time. The film's most iconic scenes involve the towering gorilla wreaking havoc in downtown Los Angeles, smashing cars, and throwing people into the air. The special effects that were used to create the giant gorilla still hold up to this day and the film's many action-packed sequences are a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of the filmmakers.

At its core, Mighty Joe Young is a movie about the bond between animals and humans, and how we can learn to live together in harmony. The film's most touching moments come when Jill and Joe share quiet moments of affection or when Gregg shows empathy towards the gorilla and does everything in his power to protect him. Terry Moore delivers an excellent performance as Jill, portraying her character as a fiercely independent woman who is always ready to defend her beloved Joe, no matter what the cost.

Ben Johnson is another standout in the movie, playing the kind-hearted cowboy who is determined to save Joe from harm. His acting is understated and effective, and he brings a sense of integrity and sincerity to the character that makes him instantly likable.

Overall, Mighty Joe Young is a movie that still holds up exceptionally well today, thanks in large part to its compelling story, innovative special effects, and excellent acting performances. Watching the giant gorilla wreak havoc on the streets of Los Angeles is an awe-inspiring spectacle that is still as thrilling today as it was over 70 years ago, and the heartwarming friendship between Jill and Joe is as touching now as it was in 1949.

Mighty Joe Young is a 1949 adventure movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 34 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 61.

Mighty Joe Young
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 34 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (5,544)
  • Metascore